Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Re: Wake wave paranoia
In Response To: Wake wave paranoia ()

Hi Bruce,

Let's talk for a minute while everyone else is on to other issues. Firstly let me explain that I am an instructor in the midst of training for multiple certifications. I mention this not because I want to think my advise has much merit but rather because I want you to understand my frame of reference. Then you can decide how my comments fit with your own sense of perspective on this issue.

: As a rookie kayaker, what is the best way to handle a set of 4 - 6 breaking
: 3' waves? Bow on is difficult, since my boat has a tendency to be pushed
: off center after the first wave or two. What is the proper technique - bow
: on or sideways, and roll into them?

The advise given by other posters is good except they are advising a rookie about something only an intermediate kayaker can understand well. My advise is simple, get qualified instruction. A professional to teach you how a kayak works and how to deal with the myriad issues that can affect your experiance and safety out on the water. Then you will no longer be a rookie.

: I also need some advice on how to rapidly turn a relatively long boat
: (17'6") like my Coho. My old canoeing techniques, like sweep strokes,
: bow rudders, and stern rudders just seem to stall the boat out without
: creating a rapid enough turn rate. I'm guessing this is a technique
: problem - any suggestions?

A kayak is not a canoe, and will not handle nor respond to strokes like a canoe will. If you've been canoeing for a while you can appreciate the subtle complexity that is involved with expert canoe skills. The same complexity exists with a kayak but does not follow the rules quite the same way.

I spend too much time working to help students unlearn bad habits after they tried to teach themselves or learn from free advise received from a message board. You will progress more quickly and have much more fun with kayaking if you take some real instruction from people trained to teach these issues. Some of the posters here are instructors and they are very carefull about the advise they give, but other posters are not instructors and you have no way to tell which is which. So I won't muddy the water by giving you advise on dealing with waves or how to turn quickly. But please consider finding qualified instruction in your area. I found the combination of great instruction combined with a very active paddling club to be just the ticket for me personally.

Good luck and rewarding paddling,